groundcover - Knowledgebase Question

turlock, Ca
Question by mariasnyder0
March 17, 2008
I would like a groundcover in my area that would also kill any weeds that want to come up. eventually I would like flagstones with ground cover all aound but I do not want to battle with weeds in my groundcover . What type would work the best? if it smells good even better. and what would be the best way to install this look? THANKS

Answer from NGA
March 17, 2008


As soon as your groundcover grows thick and dense, you shouldn't have a problem with weeds. Until then, though, you'll need to employ a weed supressing practice. There are a couple of options. First, you can plant your groundcover and then cover over the bare earth between the plants with several thicknesses of newspaper, covered with an organic mulch to hold the newspapers in place. You can use the small bark chips. The newspaper will effectively block sunlight so weed seeds won't germinate. They will eventually decompose which will allow the bark chips to make contact with the earth. They, too will decompose. By that time, your groundcover should be thick enough to keep weeds from sprouting. Or, instead of covering the ground, you could plan to hoe out the weeds that sprout until your groundcover grows thick enough to keep weeds from invading the space. I'd vote for the newspaper, bark mulch approach!

Periwinkle (vinca minor) is a good choice for the site. Other considerations include the native kinnikinnick (arctostaphylos uva-ursi), carpet bugle (ajuga) or St. John's Wort (hypericum). All will do well in poor soils and full sunshine to part shade. After planting be sure to supply water on a regular basis until the plants become established. Once they're growing well they can get along with natural rainfall. Good luck with your project!

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